Buying a house in Melbourne? You should expect to pay more than the property’s sale price. There are hidden costs when buying property that you should know about and prepare for while you’re still shopping around.

The hidden costs when buying a house are determined by the actual value of the property and its location. You can expect the following added expenses and include them in your overall budget, and then some.

Conveyancing and legal fees. If you really put your mind to it, you should be able to accomplish all the legal documents you need yourself. But if you want to the certainty of having all your bases covered and getting everything done properly the first time, you should consider hiring a solicitor or conveyancer. You will also get the added bonus of having all your questions related to the legalities of your purchase answered.

Loan application or establishment fee. Taking out a home loan requires paying application fees; the cost depends on the loan amount and the lender. You may also find a lender who will be willing to waive this fee.

Mortgage insurance. This is waived if you make a deposit of at least 20% of the property price. Lenders require mortgage insurance on deposits below 20%; and the smaller your deposit, the higher the insurance you’ll have to pay. For some, being able to pay as little as a 5% deposit to purchase a home is worth paying the mortgage insurance.

Pest and building inspections. Whether or not you’re buying a pre-owned property, but especially when it’s an older structure, you should include pest and building inspections in your budget. The extra costs will be money well spent, as you will save more on unexpected repairs and renovations which, if you had professional inspections done, could be covered by the seller as part of your pre-purchase contract.

Mortgage registration and transfer fees. Mortgage registration fees also vary from state to state. The transfer of ownership is shouldered by the buyer and generally costs more than the mortgage registration.

Stamp duty. The cost will depend on the overall property value and where it is located. And the higher the property value, the higher the stamp duty you’ll have to pay. First-time home buyers get stamp duty exemptions in some states. Find out if your state is one of them.

Council and utility rates. Depending on when you make your purchase, you may have to add the council and utility rates to the purchase price. Vendors usually pay these fees on a quarterly basis.

Find out about these hidden costs – how much each one is – so you can make the necessary adjustments and allowances to your budget and, perhaps, even your choice of property to buy.